Thursday, February 18, 2010

How to Know When Government Becomes Too Large

Ever heard of a "delta smelt"? Neither had this blog until several month ago when Sean Hannity took a road trip to what was once fertile farmland in California. He highlighted the consequences of the Endangered Species Act where people were denied water for farming by their own government. In a clear and blatant violation of the Constitutions' provision to "promote the general welfare", zealous environmentalists ignored  their fellow citizens and placed the needs of a fish above those of humans. The cost has been high, with farmers, forced out of business by a misguided law using food banks and unemployment just to get by.

That's one example. Here's another from California.

Their new energy efficiency regulations for televisions. The goal is to reduce the energy consumption of TV's by 49%. Sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? Right up until you ask yourself why the government would care what type of television you purchase. Isn't that, you know, outside their authority? Is there a provision in the Constitution for the regulation of televisions? Won't these regulations increase the cost of a new TV? When did watching a television become anyone else's business.

That's two. There are many, many more.

This is becoming important for economic as well as legal reasons. One of the primary differences between conservatives and "progressives" is that we conservatives recognize that in order for there to be freedom, the influence of government must have a limit. A line beyond which government cannot go. "Progressives" don't recognize any limits to the power of government and seek to expand it into every nook and cranny of private life, whether there is a valid need or not. California's regulations for televisions is a prime example.

When government has become large enough to add significant costs in the private sector where there was previously no such interference, it's time to question whether things have gotten out of hand. In the case of environmental regulation, there is clear evidence that the law is working against us by forcing us to use products that in many cases are inferior in quality and don't work very well. In the case of California's delta smelt fiasco, it's plainly working against the interests of the people and should not be allowed to continue under any circumstances. The failure of the courts to prevent this gross abuse of power is a disgrace to the bench and an affront to every freedom-loving American.

It's time to ask some fundamental questions about the role of government in America. The first one should be this: Is our government working for us or against us?

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